April 7, 2004
Hello GymDawg Fans:
Before I go into a review of our weekend let me tell you up front that we did not qualify as a team to the NCAA Championships to be held at UCLA.
We arrived in Denver Thursday April 1st. We rented three mini vans, loaded the bags and everyone into the vans then off to the hotel. For those of you who have not flown into Denver the airport is quite a distance from downtown. After we arrived at our hotel I took my bag to my room and proceeded to unpack. As I was unpacking I noticed that some of the clothes in my bag were not mine. About that time Frank calls and asked if I had some of his and John's clothes in my bag. After examination I had one of my dress shoes and one of Frank's tennis shoes, and various different types of underwear. Our bags were in the van with some pranksters, and since it was April Fools they took full advantage. We sorted out everything the team went to dinner.
The next day we had a workout at the meet site at the University of Denver. The set up was very good and flashy. In our workout we went in the same order that we would compete, Bars, Beam, Floor, and Vault. It was a very good rotation. The ladies looked very strong and extremely confident. Our workout went extremely well, and I was so looking forward to the competition. We were the second seed in the competition, out of six teams. After the workout half the team went to the "Sushi Boat", and tried sushi for the first time and they really liked it. The other half went to the Food Court at the mall. My wife and I went to the grocery store, and picked up some snacks, and sodas.
The next morning Heidi, Frank, and I went to the coaches meeting at 9 a.m. in the hotel to get all the pertinent information for the competition. This meeting was followed by the Coaches Sounding Board Meeting which is set up to discuss issues involving collegiate gymnastics. You know some coaches REALLY like to hear themselves talk. We were in the meeting until after noon.
We left for the competition at 2:15. Warm ups went extremely well, and the ladies seemed to have it all together to have an awesome competition. We started on bars, and we struggled, our first gymnast up fell, and we had only two made sets out of six. I think that the ladies were very shocked that we had scored a 48.250, and struggled so much on an event that has been one of our strongest all season.
After one event we were behind the "8 Ball", and needed to kick it up a notch as we were not out of the competition by any means. We next went to beam. Beam, and vault ended up tied for our highest scoring events, yet we weren't as sharp as normal, and ended up with a 48.725. I think that the wind was taken out of our sails as we headed for floor. Our troubles continued on the floor as we had one fall, and two out of bounds which is very uncharacteristic for your Huskies. Vault was fairly normal with only one low vault.
After the competition was over we had finished fifth and had not moved on to Nationals as a team. Unfortunately Emily Pritchard, Kelly McDonald, and Carly Dockendorf had struggled on one event which knocked each of them out of Nationals as an All-Arounder. Carly won the floor exercise so she will go to Nationals as an event specialist on the floor. We will leave April 14th for UCLA.
I just wanted to say that this is the most fit and physically prepared team I have ever coached. All season we were skating on the edge of collapsing, if we lost an All-Arounder at any point in the season. The ladies peaked at the right time and were hitting their routines, and seemed confident in their approach to the competition. For some reason they were very tight and mentally to tense to get into their zone. In any case I am proud of this team and the way they dealt with all of the pitfalls that comes with a gymnastics season.
I want to say how proud I am of our two seniors Emily Pritchard, and Amy Metcalf. Emily over her career has dealt with many physical maladies, yet has always been there 100 percent, competed All-Around for four entire seasons, and was voted the 2004 Regional Gymnast of the Year by all 13 universities in the West Region.
Amy competed three events for three seasons, and this past season she had surgery on her wrist and the doctors said that she would not compete this season. Yet Amy was aggressive in her therapy and treatments and actually competed beam for us this entire season. Amy also for the past two years has been our team co-captain, and has been the glue that has helped solidified this team. I will be sad to see them go.
Am I disappointed that we did not qualify to Nationals, YES. Am I disappointed in this team, NO. I want to say that this has been without a doubt the most successful, and talented Husky team ever, and I am proud to be their coach.
Today we start preparing next season.